MERCY by RACHEL ROSSANO BOOK TOUR

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Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the children are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books.
Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

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The royal wedding approaches and the country is alive with anticipation.

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Among the craftsmen traveling to the capital is Constance Rendare and her family. An artist, a widow of an unhappy marriage, and the mother of a young son, she dreams of escaping the cruel servitude of her father’s household.
Wilard Naron serves the Earl of Dentin. He returns to the capital, his childhood home, to collect his earnings and finally free himself from his father’s reputation.
Kidnappings, bandits, and a plot against the king complicate the journey. The conflicts throw Constance and Wilard together as their circumstances grow steadily worse. The more the pair uncovers, the direr the future looks for the country and for them.

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Excerpt

Constance’s point of view:

A servant opened the door before Dentin could answer my question. I didn’t turn to check who it was and they didn’t enter the room. I forced myself to breathe evenly. 
“A pitcher of water and glasses,” Dentin requested in calm, conversational tones. “Also, if you could locate Lady Dentin and let her know I require her presence in my book room.” 
Then the servant left, leaving the door slightly ajar. 
“What do you mean she isn’t well?” I demanded as the earl retreated to the opposite side of the table and claimed the chair there. He took his time arranging his overtunic and adjusting the position of his dagger. Clearly, he didn’t intend to answer me. 
“You can’t expect me not to ask after using such ominous wording,” I pointed out, my annoyance at his delay overriding my awareness of his station. “We were discussing my sister. Tell me the truth plainly or…” My brain faltered for a threat that would work, but none came to mind. 
Across the desk, Dentin had stopped fidgeting and now regarded me with blatant amusement. 
“Don’t laugh at me,” I protested, torn between laughter and tears myself. 
He cleared his throat. “I never laugh at people who threaten me.” 
“Even when they fail miserably at it?” I asked with a half smile. 
“Not even then.” He straightened in his seat as I became aware of movement behind me. 
“You summoned me, my lord?” Lady Elsa’s soft voice soothed my frustration. I would have an ally now. 
Dentin rose to his feet and came around the table to greet his wife. “Madam Rendare became overset, and I hoped your presence would help as we discuss the repercussions of my news.”
Something passed between the countess and the earl I didn’t catch, but I did witness the earl’s attempt at an expression of complete innocence before he deposited her in a seat next to me. 
“What were you going to mention?” Elsa turned to me, and her expression melted into concern. “She is white as milk, Simon. What did you say?” Leaning over as best she could with her growing belly, she caught and held one of my hands in hers for a moment. She then frowned at her husband. “Explain.” 
“I am only trying to convince her she needs to focus on her sister’s welfare, not her father’s. She can do more in that area than any other.” 
“Simon…” The sound of gentle reproof in Elsa’s voice helped me quiet my frustration with her husband. “Tell her the full truth and let her decide for herself what to do. It is her decision, not yours.”

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Honor Book Blitz

Honor

by Rachel Rossano

Series: Novels of Rhynan, #2

Genre: Medieval Clean Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2015

 

 

The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.

Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother’s massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.

As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.

 

Her face lost all color. Though she tried to hide her disquiet by adjusting the toddler on her hip, her sudden tension betrayed her. I struck close to something important.

I continued to prod. “Darnay is not a boy easily spooked, but he was convinced Merrill intended to do something terrible to you.”

“Merrill is more of a friend of Barack than me. I hardly speak to him usually. Lately he has been taking more of an interest in me. Perhaps he liked the cut of my new dress.” She tried to toss her dark mane in a flirtatious manner. The movement fell flat. Her honesty shone through despite her intentions.

“I don’t believe you.”

Her chin came up and she glared at me. “Regardless, it is none of your concern, my lord.”

“Considering this is the second time I played hero for you, you owe me something.”

“I never requested help.”

The defiant look in her eye warmed my heart. I much preferred her fire than the alternative. She put on a brave front, but the cracks were showing. This was a woman who felt alone.

“Darnay did,” I pointed out.

“He did, didn’t he?” She sighed, as though giving in after a fight. “Thank you.”

“You are welcome.”

She took a step toward me, obviously assuming I would step aside. I did not.

“I need to deliver Ian to the nursery before he is missed.”

“Not until you tell me more about your dealings with Merrill.”

Gold flashed in the brown depths of her eyes before she diverted her gaze to my feet. “I plot no treason or crime, my lord. My business is my own.” She hefted Ian higher on her hip.

The boy regarded me solemnly. “Food?”

“Soon,” Elsa assured him before turning her full attention to me. “If you will not move, I shall go another way.”

As she turned to do just that, I offered my open hands to the child. He came willingly to me with surprising eagerness. Before she could protest, Ian was securely in my arms. The lad settled his head against my shoulder, stuck his thumb in his mouth, and relaxed.

Elsa stared at me in shock. “So much for the fearsome monster.”

“Now you have to listen to me.”

Her eyebrows quirked and one side of her mouth rose. “Actually I don’t. I could walk away now and leave you to deliver him to the nursery. He seems to have tamed you.”

“Appearances can be deceiving.” Though, I was hardly in a position to demonstrate it.

“I will show you the way.” Striding past me, she set a brisk pace through the hedges.

I followed, using my longer legs to overtake her. “Merrill is an evil man.”

“I have heard the same said of you.”

“He isn’t trustworthy.” I grappled for words to convey a warning about Merrill’s complete lack of moral restraint. I couldn’t exactly start numbering the women he had ruined, numerous though they were. Pointing out that he had committed treason with the princess would be foolish, especially in such a public place. “He is not an honorable man.”

“And you are?”

She turned to confront me so fast I almost plowed her down. As it was, I ground a patch of rosemary into the earth to avoid the collision. Ian protested the abrupt halt with a squeal in my ear. However, Elsa’s flushed features demanded my full attention. She glared up at me.

“You walk into each situation, pronouncing judgment before even assessing the intentions of the people involved. Merrill could have been caught in a perfectly innocent conversation and have the best of the intentions. Did you ask him? No. Did you investigate? No. Yet, you blithely proclaimed words that ruined a man’s reputation without so much as trying to understand what was actually happening. Have you ever considered that no one invited you?”

I frowned in confusion. “Are we still discussing Merrill?”

Her face flushed crimson and then blanched. “Give Ian to me.” She held out her arms.

“Not until tell me what is truly going on between Merrill and you.”

“Keep Ian. Just be sure to deliver him to the nursery before his linens leak. Good day, my lord.” She executed a perfunctory curtsey before whirling on her heel and marching off in the direction of the main entrance to the great hall. I watched her whipping skirts and tried to make sense of her tirade.

 

 

 

 

 

Book 1: Duty: First Novel of Rhynan

 

 

Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

 

 

 

 

 

Honor Release Day

 

Honor
by Rachel Rossano
Series: Novels of Rhynan, #2
Genre: Medieval Clean Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2015

 

 

The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.

Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother’s massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.

As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.

 

A smattering of raindrops cut my ruminations short. I studied the angry gray clouds just as thunder rumbled. I decided running for the keep would be better than waiting the storm out in the shelter of the maze tower. I gathered my skirts up and ran for the opening in the nearest hedge. Even running so hard my lungs burned and my legs ached, the downpour beat me to the shelter of the vargar keep.

Normally safe footing became treacherous in the sudden rush of water. Puddles and slick slate pavers slowed me more. Once gaining the half-open undercroft door, I plunged into the underbelly of the castle and pushed the heavy door closed behind me. Not bothering to check the corridor, I began wringing out my heavy rain-soaked skirt.

“Greetings, Lady Elsa?”

I jumped. It took all of my control not to cry out in surprise at the sound of the male voice. I lifted my head to find Lord Dentin standing not three feet away. He looked like he had just returned from a swim. Water coursed down his face and dripped from his clothes into a growing puddle on the stone floor. A partially dry wool blanket draped his shoulders. His hair, black with moisture, stuck out from his head at odd angles as though he had paused mid rub.

Yet, his eyes were bright and a twitch pulled at his mouth. “It is good to know I wasn’t the only one caught in the sudden downpour.”

Suddenly realizing I was holding my dress up and exposing quite a bit of leg, I dropped my skirts. The slap of them hitting the wet floor echoed down the corridor. I flinched.

His eyebrows rose and an actual smile pulled at his mouth. It took years off his face, revealing the remnants of the mischievous rascal he must have been in boyhood.

“Don’t look so frightened. I won’t tell on you.”

Anger gripped my chest and my chin rose instinctively. “I doubt my mother would care, my lord. She has grown calloused in her despair of me. I beg pardon. I didn’t see you there.”

His smile disappeared and his expression grew thoughtful. “I am a bit hard to miss.”

“True, my lord. I need to proceed to my rooms now and change.”

“By all means. I would not wish you to grow ill. I anticipate an animated conversation at the evening meal.” He stepped back a bit, offering half the narrow hall for me to pass.

I gathered my skirts, keeping the edge just above the floor this time, and stepped through the gap. Then straightening my back and shoulders, I strode down the corridor to the servant’s staircase.

“Wait.”

I paused instinctively, but I didn’t turn around. He approached, his boots making squelching sounds on the stone.

“Have this.” He wrapped the wool blanket around my shoulders without actually touching me. It smelled of smoke, rain, and dog, but his residual warmth radiated from it. The heat felt heavenly on my chilled skin. “You need it more than I do.”

Then before I could voice my gratitude, he strode toward the kitchen calling for someone named Reginald.

“Thank you,” I whispered. Clutching the fabric to me, I dropped the pretense of dignity and ran for the stairs. If I was caught in this state of dress, my mother would never let me out of her sight again.

 

 

 

 

Book 1: Duty: First Novel of Rhynan

 

 

Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.